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Psychological dynamics of inheritance distribution in Islam: from principles and practices to future research directions

Sulong, Jasni and Mohd Mahudin, Nor Diana (2021) Psychological dynamics of inheritance distribution in Islam: from principles and practices to future research directions. In: Contextualising Islam in Psychological Research: Theoretical Foundation, Current Initiatives and Way Forward. IIUM Press, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pp. 136-146. ISBN 9789674910525

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In Islam, wealth is owned by Allah (SWT), and it is merely lent to humans to cater to their ephemeral needs. Therefore, under Islamic law, any property in the inheritance should be transferred immediately to the rightful heirs after the demise of the owner. The heirs will then replace the original owner in possessing the properties according to the proportions prescribed by Islamic law. This process of handling the inheritance should be within the purview of the inheritance laws (i.e., al-farāʼiḍ) according to the Sharīʻah. The implementation of this process, however, can be challenging and may not necessarily be smooth sailing for all involved. Hence, to ensure that a smooth-flowing process of inheritance distribution is maintained, all heirs or beneficiaries must be cooperative and willing to expedite the process. A smooth distribution process occurs when the inheritance is distributed according to Islamic law and all heirs give their cooperation from beginning to end. The behaviour of the heirs thus impacts the process. In particular, the heirs’ understanding of justice and psychological repercussions that may arise with the inheritance distribution process is crucial. Islam understands the natural inclination of people to adulate wealth and property. Such a situation even happened among the Companions at the time of the Prophet (PBUH). For example, when a male relative of Sa’d bin al-Rabi’ took all his property without giving anything to Sa’d’s wife and his two daughters, the latter (i.e., his wife) went to see the Prophet (PBUH) and told him about the family’s plight, that they were left without any inheritance and she was scared that the action could jeopardise the family’s future (Qurtubi, 1988). The case was solved when the Prophet instructed the male relative to give Sa’d’s daughters two-thirds of the inheritance and one-eighth to Sa’d’s wife. Hence, only the balance could be taken by the male relative (Abu Dawud, 1952; Tirmidhi, n.d.). In short, this event demonstrates how the heirs’ behaviour could impede or facilitate the effectiveness of the inheritance distribution process. This chapter discusses the psychological dynamics and proceses of inheritance distribution, with a specific focus on Islamic inheritance laws. The acculturalisation of the customs or traditions as well as the psychological aspects of the process, which follow the framework and theoretical orientation drawn from the Sharīʻah, are also discussed. Hence, this chapter is structured as follows: a review of the inheritance laws in Islam is provided in the second section and a discussion of research on inheritance distribution in Islam is presented next. The fourth section discusses inheritance distribution within the Muslim community in Malaysia, while the Islamisation, relevantisation, and integration of research in inheritance distribution are described in the fifth section. Finally, the recommendations for future studies and conclusions are presented.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Uncontrolled Keywords: Al-farāʼiḍ; Inheritance; Islamisation; Laws; Sharīʻah
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF636 Applied psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc > BP190.5 Islamization of Knowledge
K Law > K720 Property Law
K Law > KBP Islamic Law > KBP1 Islamic law.Shariah.Fiqh
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of Psychology
Depositing User: Nor Diana Mohd Mahudin
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2021 08:29
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2021 08:29
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/90881

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